Only five shots separated the men’s golf team from a second place finish in the MacDonald Cup at the Yale Golf Course this weekend.

The Elis finished sixth with a 592 for the tournament. Team members said they were disappointed by their finish and had hoped they would post a higher ranking.

“We weren’t satisfied with our overall performance,” captain Ben Levy ’04 said. “Although national rankings had placed us sixth out of the teams in this event, being at our home course we were hoping to have a higher finish.”

After the first round on Friday, Yale stood tied with St. John’s University for eighth place, with an 18-over-par score of 298. The Bulldogs kept themselves in contention but were disappointed with their eighth place standing after the first day.

“Our problem this year and in the past has consistently been shooting ourselves out of the tournament in the first round,” Levy said. “We didn’t do that this week but definitely put ourselves behind the eight ball to finish where we wanted, [in second place].”

Rick Reissman ’06 and Andrew Vitt ’05 were Yale’s top finishers in the first round. Both shot 2-over-par. Jason Shin ’05, Brian Kim ’06 and Dan Levy ’06 rounded out the first-round top five. At this point in the tournament, Yale’s two teams were tied, both ahead of Ivy League rivals Harvard and Dartmouth. Yale fielded two squads in the tournament.

In the second day of the tournament, Yale shot a 294, a tie with two other schools for second place in the round. The Eli rebound lifted the team to an sixth place finish overall.

Dan and Ben Levy tied with Vitt as Yale’s top finishers for the weekend, each with an 8-over-par 148.

“I was glad to get into the lineup here and despite not having my A-game get the ball around for a decent score,” Ben Levy said.

This weekend’s performance was third in a succession of outstanding performances by Dan Levy. Levy was among Yale’s top five finishers at the Dartmouth Invitational on Sept. 20 to 21, and he placed fifth overall at the Adams Cup in Rhode Island on Oct. 27 to 28.

For the team, however, the tournament outcome was a disappointment, especially because both head coach Dave Paterson and the team had hoped to place first, defeating their district rival, the University of Rhode Island.

The Yale Golf Course is different from many other courses. Yale team members said they had counted on this to have a greater impact on the score — familiarity with a course is usually a significant advantage in golf due to the variability of terrain between courses.

Yale’s second team finished 14th, tied with the Army. After the two Levys and Vitt, Steve Gray ’05, Kim and Reissman were the other top finishers. Gray and Kim tied for 39th place.

Despite the disappointment this weekend, Dan Levy said he is still confident the Elis can pull off a win at the Big Five Tournament next weekend.

“I think we just have to look ahead to the next tournaments,” he said. “We are a solid team with tons of talent. We just need to put up good numbers early, stay focused, and bring it home down the stretch.”

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